Basbousa is a traditional Egyptian – middle eastern sweet cake. Basically Egyptian Basbousa (also known as revani or harissa) cake is a semolina cake with coconut soaked in syrup. This dessert is popular in all Arab cuisines and many other cuisines all over the middle east. Each country has their own version of basbousa, this version of semolina cake is light, fluffy and sweet. This recipe perfect for the Ramadan or any other occasion.
This cake finds it place in India as well. It is called Rawa Cake or famously known as Batika or Goan Batk. The process of baking this cake is slightly different in the cultures across but it isn’t extremely different with the ingredients and the end result.
I have always been interested in learning more about food exchanges and cultures that gave birth to different food across the world and this is one such cakes which makes me wonder how it traveled across continents. Maybe the trade through silk route could be associated to it or the spread of religion. Whatever be the reason this is my absolute favorite cake as it is extremely forgiving and can be baked by anyone with little to no knowledge of baking.
Here you go with the recipe. If you try this cake, do let me know in the comments below 🙂
Basbousa (Semolina Cake)
1 cup - 130 gms
Preheat the oven to 180C or 360F and grease a round (23-26 cm) or square (23 cm) tin with butter or oil. Keep it away.
In a large bowl beat egg with sugar until light and pale. This step makes the cake fluffy. Add the melted butter, vanilla extract, yogurt, and beat on low speed until incorporated. Follow it up with semolina, flour, coconut, baking powder and salt. Mix until combined.
Transfer the mixture into the pan and spread evenly. Cut the cake with a butter knife. You can choose to cut the cake in whatever shape you prefer. I like mine diamond. Place an almond in the center of each diamond. (You can skip adding the almond if you don't like it)
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. You can prick a sate stick to see if the centre of the cake is cooked enough. Remove and let it cool down.
While the cake is baking, in a pan add sugar and water and bring it to a boil. Make the sugar syrup with single thread consistency. Turn off the flame and add rose water and lemon juice. Keep this ready for when the cake is baked.
Once the cake is baked, using a knife cut the cake across the edges cut before, this helps the sugar syrup enter the cake effectively. Add the sugar syrup and let the cake rest. It is best to let the cake soak in the syrup overnight or atleast an hour. The cake can stay fresh for a week in the fridge.
Serve the cake with some crushed pistachio and a portion of whipped cream (completely optional)